Monthly Archives: June 2014

June 30 2014

Sunny one moment, swirly death looking clouds the other... NOT beekeeing weather!!

Sunny one moment, swirly death looking clouds the other… NOT beekeeing weather!!

I am hoping the rain delays are over so that we can get out to the yards to super up.  The strong hives still sit in doubles and are starting to bust at the seams!!!  The crop has started to bloom pretty much everywhere and with this moisture I expect the nectar to be flowing as soon as the heat returns.  Nine yards are to be moved out yet…soon as I can travel the roads.  This next week will be a busy one.  I cant wait to get into the hives to see their progress!

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June 27 2014

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First field of bloom of the year

1500 boxes sorted and ready to go out

Just about half our boxes sorted and ready to go out.  I remember not too long ago, all my honey boxes fit on one flat deck trailer… lol

Along with making up nucs to mate the queens, we are dabbling with mating mini mating nucs.

Along with making up nucs to mate the queens, we are dabbling with mini mating nucs to gain some experience.

June 26 2014

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Today I hosted a visit of 80-100 guests in part of the one day “Canadian” tour as part of the 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture this year held in Winnipeg.  The stop on our farm was in part of Deerwood Soil and Water where as I showed the guests our zero tillage equipment and spoke about our farm and how we incorporate conservation land management into our farm.  Apart from the focus on conservation I toured the guest through my honey house and spoke about beekeeping, how I manage my bees, the challenges I’m faced with and how I manage them.  I am not use to speaking in front of large crowds but I seemed to manage my way fine through the presentation.  The audience was very interested in both my presentation and I fielded questions all over the map.  It was a very interesting afternoon.  Typically I sit back and listen to what others say and hold my thoughts and opinions to myself, but this afternoon I was the one speaking.  Hope my input was useful!

 

 

 

June 25 2014

There are no sure things in this business.  During this weeks queen checks I have noticed one particular batch of queen I had ordered to be running in the low 70’s for acceptable performance as compared to the rest of my queens running mid 90’s.  These queens took hold of the hive but had nothing in them…  so today I dug into my reserves and dropped nucs into these hives.  A major crisis averted by having an action plan at hand.

imagesMy queen rearing cells are mature enough to be placed into mating nucs this weekend.  I expect laying queens in a week and a half from now.  We will be continually working throughout the summer to replenish the nuc stock which will be used to keep my production yards in tip top condition.

June 22 2014

Nucs ready to go

Nucs ready to go

The next stage of my queen replacement strategy is coming along nicely.  A couple weeks ago at the end of the split round we slashed down a few hives to make up a yard full of nucs.  A frame of brood and a queen, just enough to get them going,small enough to keep them under control for a few weeks. These nucs will be used to rejuvenate hives by implanting them into production hives flagged for poor performance.  This nuc implant will send the hive immediately back into production mode.  I adopted this strategy to keep my bee yards full and to address the issue I seem to have with shrinking yards throughout the summer production season.  We have also started queen rearing and will be building queen stock throughout the summer season.  I plan to use these queens later in the season to requeen some of my less vigorous smaller hives.  The idea is to replace those “maybe” hives and winter more “sure” hives.  An surplus nucs will be sent through winter and used to requeen poor performing stock in the spring.  The key to making all this work is to hand all of it off to my “brood nest technician”.  This way the work will get done, and not just talked about!!

Today I spent the day spot checking yards to find out where about my hives are sitting at.  I am debating whether to send out the excluders this week or the next.  The crop is late again with nothing in bloom yet and because of this I have decided to ignore the calendar, as I have been for two years now and I have decided to push back the the start of the pull by a week. We will be sending the excluders out first week of July.  Thirds will be sent out at the same time, which is going to make it tight for about 20-30% of my hives as they have the top box full of brood!

June 19 2014

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The trades are finally complete and the honey house is now fully functional.  Today we spent the day inside out of the rain and scrubbed her down.  Everything has come together exactly as I had envisioned it.  All I need now is honey to extract…

 

June 18 2014

We started a little late, but this week we started grafting to build some hive replacement nucs.  My "brood nest technician" LOL is looking after the grafting and nucing this year.

We started a little late, but this week we started grafting to build some hive replacement nucs. First graft was 90% acceptance.  Time to make surplus stock!

I introduce my queens straight into my queenless splits.  This way if she does not take, I have a back up plan.  But when she does take, she lets her presence known!!

I introduce my queens straight into my queenless splits. This way if she does not take, I have a back up plan. But when she does take, she lets her presence known!!  I manually release after 5 days, my queen acceptance is running over 95% success so far.

The new forklift arrived today.  I'm renting this Hyundai to take the pressure off my old fork lift through out the flow.

The new forklift arrived today. I’m renting this Hyundai to take the pressure off my old fork lift through out the flow.

and they think they own the road....

and they think they own the road….

June 17 2014

I made up an observation hive to bring with me on my grade school bee presentation.

Today I Grabbed a frame of bees to bring along with me to show the Kindergarten and grade one class. And I thought the hive I pulled the bees from was busy… holy smokes those kids are buzzy!! lol

 

June 14 2014 – Honey House Progress Update

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Hot room / storage room / wintering shed

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Office

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Washroom, laundry room

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Employee / common room

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The equipment is all in place. Electrical 90% done.

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Heat exchanger and spinner. The food grade honey pipe is on order.

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28kw boiler plumbed into three separate loops (one loop for each room) and each commanded with their own thermostat. I installed a 65 gallon hot water tank to provide lots of hot water capacity during wash up.

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You would be surprised of all the chuckles I got from visiting beekeepers by having a laundry room in the facility. Speaking frankly, it is one of the most convenient features of my honey house. There has not been a bee suit in my home since last year. And boy is my wife happy about that! lol

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